Building an Ethic of Caring in the Classroom: Throw Fear Away

My Post (3)

Welcome to the very first in a series dedicated to foregrounding love in lesson planning and instruction for building more caring classrooms. I realize that someone who just read that first sentence may have been immediately turned off by my use of the word “love.” Love is a big, complicated, and even messy concept that we know even the Greeks wrestled with as they needed at least four different words to try and capture its multiplicitous meaning. The love I am attempting to depict in this series is a love we commit out of inclination; we are urged from within to aid, help, be kind, and express care towards others. My hope is that expression of love is exactly what we want to convey to our students and that we would want a teacher to express to our own children.

While future posts will rotate their themes and focus, each going forward will have some practical, ready-to-implement learning experience you can use. The only exception will be posts that bring former students’ perspectives together for the sake of discussion. Today I am sharing one of the first experiences I developed for students well before I became a researcher, and I was simply seeking to better connect my students to the potentially extraordinary learning experience they could have in my classroom. I never named the experience, but I feel for the sake of making it a useful tool for others, I am calling it “Throw Fear Away.” Continue reading

Summer PD Series: Understanding Students

My Post

My new role working at the district level across multiple schools gives me ample opportunity to create and lead summer professional development (PD) sessions. The Summer PD Series is exactly what it sounds like–I will share my PD sessions here. The hope is this will help me reflect on my sessions and their potential impact.

In today’s post I will take you through the first professional development session I led this summer in my new role which was simply called Understanding Students. Really, the purpose of the session is to inspire empathy and care in the classroom, driven from the teacher. It’s about how to authentically build relationships with students. Continue reading